Wednesday's prep roundup: Sand Creek upset bid comes up short in final minute

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Highlights from Wednesday's high school boys' basketball playoffs around the Pikes Peak region.



Class 4A Round of 16

No. 3 D'Evelyn 62, No. 14 Sand Creek 58

At D'Evelyn: Sand Creek (19-6) staged a furious rally and led as late as the final minute, but D'Evelyn (21-4) came back to eliminate the Scorpions and move on to the 4A state quarterfinals.

The Jaguars led by one after the first quarter but outscored the Scorpions 21-14 in the second to take a 33-25 lead into the half, thanks to Sand Creek having a couple of players in foul trouble.

"We didn't execute some things, got in a little bit of foul trouble in the first half," coach Rob Hawkins said. "It was affecting our execution a little bit."

The second half was different, as players refrained from fouling. Sand Creek came back, cutting the Jaguars lead to 43-42 after three quarters.

The Scorpions led by one with 35 seconds to play and the game was tied with 10 seconds left. But the Jaguars scored down the stretch to advance.

"In the second half we were able to execute," Hawkins said. "We were able to claw back, get some stops."

The Jaguars will host No. 6 Lewis-Palmer in the quarterfinals Saturday.

Knowing it's not them in the quarterfinals had Hawkins thinking what if.

"We deserved to win, we just didn't do it tonight," he said "These kids really came together and laid it all on the line. To come out on the short end of the stick, it's a hard pill to swallow sometimes."

No. 1 Valor Christian 74, No. 16 Mesa Ridge 55

At Valor Christian: Valor Christian (21-4) built an 11-point lead at the break and extended it in the fourth quarter to knock Mesa Ridge (18-7) out of the playoffs.

The Eagles were as good as advertised, Grizzlies coach Paul Mileto said.

"They're definitely a No. 1 seed," he said. "We just couldn't match up with No. 22 (Jalen Sanders) and their bigs. . There was always one other kid there to worry about."

The Grizzlies hung around throughout the first three quarters, trailing by 11 at the half and again after the third.

"We had lot of missed buckets early, even in the second half," Mileto said. "I don't know if it was because of their size - they blocked a couple shots - if it got us shooting quicker than normal. We missed layups we normally hit."

Mileto looked back and liked what he saw from his team this season.

"We had a lot of kids break records and do positive things for Mesa Ridge and our program," he said. "Those kids wanted to play well because they wanted to see the team do well."


Class 5A Round of 16

No. 2 ThunderRidge 87, No. 15 Rampart 66

At ThunderRidge: High-scoring ThunderRidge (23-2) held off Rampart (18-7) and cruised to a 21-point win to eliminate the Rams from the 5A state tournament.

The Grizzlies, who twice broke the 100-point mark this season, jumped to a 26-18 lead after one quarter, then held the Rams to four points in the second to build a 38-22 lead at the break.

The Rams turned the ball over 15 times in the first half, 11 of those in the second quarter.

"We had a terrible second quarter," Rams coach J'on St. Clair said.

The Grizzlies advance to the quarterfinals, where they will meet No. 7 Chatfield at the Denver Coliseum on Saturday.

The Grizzlies' depth proved too much.

"We shut down their main guy pretty good, but their role players stepped up today," St. Clair said.

The end of the season came too soon for the Rams, according to their coach.

"There are some years where the season is so long you can't wait for it to end," St. Clair said. "This season snuck up on us. It was like, Oh, my gosh, we're in the sweet 16 and you realize that you don't want it to end.

"I really enjoyed coaching and being around these kids a lot."